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How I Met Your Father first impression: A tired, dated sitcom that believes we are still living in noughties

The sets, the production, even the sound of the fake laughter feels like How I Met Your Father was originally made in the early noughties, which is not a compliment.

Written by Sampada Sharma | New Delhi |
Updated: January 21, 2022 8:36:43 am
how i met your father reviewHow I Met Your Father is trying a little too hard to be likable.

Do you remember the early 2000s when shows like Friends, Two and a Half Men and How I Met Your Mother were all the rage? Twenty years later, we might not laugh at the same jokes anymore but the shows still offer us the comfort of a warm blanket on a cold winter day. There are few roads as enticing as the memory lane. These shows are like a time capsule that transport us back to days when shows came with their own built-in laughter and expository dialogues broke down everything for the dumb us. While nostalgia is welcomed with open arms, as we recently saw in the Friends reunion, it isn’t a masala that you can sprinkle on any mediocre show that is trying too hard to be funny. You may end up with The One Where Rachel Made Pie, and will have to eat it.

Enter, How I Met Your Father. It doesn’t just plate us a dainty slice, it shovels us a bagful.

How I Met Your Father stars Hillary Duff as a 20-something woman living in a big city who is trying to find the love of her life and going through an extremely sanitised version of a quarter-life crisis. Watching the brilliant Hillary (who was so much cooler than anyone as a pre-teen in Lizzie McGuire) bang her head against the unfunny dialogue, and performing staged skits, breaks your heart and makes you wonder why the gods of television would first cancel the Lizzie reboot and then, hand her this travesty of a sitcom. Other cast members are yet to pitch in fully, which will possibly happen in the upcoming episodes, but after the first two episodes, they appear to be cast in the show just so no one blames the makers for not being inclusive enough. Good on them for casting non-white and non-straight folk in a show in 2022 but this should be the norm by now, and not something that gets you brownie points.

The first two episodes of the show make you think that in a post-The Office world, who even thought that this dated style of making sitcoms would work in 2022? The sets, the production, even the sound of the fake laughter feels like it was originally made in the early noughties, which is not a compliment. If a show set in 2022 tells you that FOMO is the name of a hot new club in town, you know it was written by a bunch of older people who have no idea about the present generation.

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HIMYF opens much like how HIMYM did. Here, Kim Catrall is playing the older version of Hillary’s character, who is telling the story of how she met her son’s father. If you are one of those who has been desperately missing Samantha in the Sex and the City reboot, watching this will add insult to the already existing injury. Kim chose to stay away from And Just Like That… for her own reasons, maybe she should have stayed away from this as well.

The people making HIMYF include a lot of names that were behind the success of the original series back in 2005 and it is evident that they are trying to recreate the success they once had, using the same formula that once worked for them. When How I Met Your Mother started in 2005, it was trying to fill a void that was left by Friends and it appears that this show is trying to be a better version of HIMYM, but they’re doing it a decade too late.

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